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Wisdom In Love: Kierkegaard And The Ancient Quest For Emotional Integrity

3 customer reviews
ISBN-10: 0268028745
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Editorial Reviews


". . . . An original contribution to moral philosophy . . . Its markedly felicitous style makes it readable and graspable. . . ." -- Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, July 8, 2005 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Inside Flap

In this historically-informed work in moral psychology, Rick Anthony Furtak develops a conceptual account of the emotions that addresses the conventional idea that reason and emotion stand in sharp opposition. Furtak begins with a critical examination of the ancient Stoic position that emotions ought to be avoided by rational human beings. He argues that, on the contrary, emotions ought to be understood as embodying a kind of authentic insight, which enables us to attain a meaningful and truthful way of seeing the world. Furtak's positive alternative to Stoicism draws heavily on the writings of Søren Kierkegaard, particularly "Either/Or" and "Works of Love," while also engaging with a wide range of other relevant philosophical, literary, and religious sources. He argues that a morality of virtue and narrative awareness is necessary for accurate emotional perception, and then attempts to define a qualified value realism based upon a reverential trust in love as the ground of existence. The outcome of this inquiry into the possibility of reliable emotion is an account of the ideal state in which we could trust ourselves to be rational in being passionate. "Wisdom in Love" makes an original contribution to the philosophy of the emotions and provides a new and compelling interpretation of Kierkegaard’s work as a whole.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Univ of Notre Dame Pr (January 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0268028745
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,218,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Phil/Psych reader on July 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
From the first page the author explores -- with brilliant intensity -- this major idea: through our emotions we perceive the meaning of our lives. As more philosophers have noted of late, the passions are not irrational but have the prestige of playing an imortant rôle in human experience.

As another reviewer pointed out, the image on the cover is described in the last footnote in the book, and is taken from a letter to Kierkegaard's fianceé: the image suggests that love enables us to see. This book as a whole is a meditation on why it is that philosophy (Gk: the "love of wisdom") ought to acknowledge that wisdom consists in loving, in cultivating the attitude of emotional acceptance & awareness. The scholarship is very diverse, and solid throughout: one is reminded of Nussbaum's work for instance, but with more of an overt focus on the existential tradition and on emotional authenticity. From Furtak's critique of Stoicism to the Rilke translations in later epigraphs, the book is quite capably executed, original and filled with insight: and often memorable, for it is so well written. Astonishing for an author's first work, and filled with promise: indeed, an excellent new book in the philosophy of the emotions.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By student on April 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
Furtak's book is a work of art. Beginning with a serious consideration of the Stoic tradition and developing that critique into an investigation into ways of knowing and loving, Wisdom in Love satisfies more than a desire for wisdom, it gives one reason to have faith in love. Furtak dismantles the paradigmatic authority of rationality as sufficient for knowledge by showing that emotion is natural, necessary and good in one's engagement with the world. Bringing in a remarkable conversance with Kierkegaard, Furtak speaks about the emotional integrity afforded by an honest and trusting understanding of one's history. This book is a sincere and substantial contribution to the philosophy of emotion, while at the same time an accessible and enlightening work for anyone intertwined with the world. Wisdom in Love is a beautiful illustration of passionate experience and its worth in a human life.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bruce P. Barten on July 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was raised to be a holy Samson anachronism, so I know a few things about religion in the modern social reality that were not quite ripe when Kierkegaard was able to attack the kind of culture produced by overly educated crowd pleasers. Heart failure has been my great fear related to phlegm in my lungs in 2013. Prior to 2013, my heart was strong enough to produce a blood pressure reading on an automatic monitor without getting an irregular heartbeat result. I had many months with and without medication for hypertension. In the middle of June, I tried to stick to a combination of a beta blocker and an angiotensin receptor blocker which had previously given my hives when I first tried it in 2012, but seemed to provide a steady pulse for a few months in 2013 which seemed like a winter hibernation with phlegm every night. Summer was very slow to come to Minnesota in 2013, and I was not fit enough for the diet and exercise which would escape metabolic syndrome in a sweet roll death camp.

Science is giving me hope that a new wrist blood pressure monitor might give me results without producing the high pulse, blood pressure, and irregular heartbeat that a large cuff on my left arm recently produced:

In July, 2013, I feel like I was taking too much medication, my pulse slowed, and the irregular heartbeat was frequently seen by my old blood pressure monitor because the normal heartbeat was too weak to let my left arm be cut off without reacting spasmodically. I am not fond of stages in life that involve me adjusting to new medical attempts to make my life as regular as the ten commandments, daily prayers, or whatever Hitchens was thinking when he wrote Mortality.
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